Overview | AIChE

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The four pillars and the twenty elements of risk based process safety can be designed and implemented at varying levels of rigor to optimize process safety management, performance, efficiency, and effectiveness.

Elements of Process Safety

Commitment to Process Safety

The Cornerstone of process safety excellence. A workforce that is actively involved and an organization that fully supports process safety as a core value will tend to do the right things in the right ways at the right times-even when no one else is looking. 

Understand Hazard and Risk

The foundation of a risk-based approach which will allow an organization to use this information to allocate limited resources in the most effective manner. 

Manage Risk

The ongoing execution of risk based process safety tasks. Risk management can help a company to better deal with the resultant risks and sustain long-term accident free and profitable operations. 

Learn From Experience

Metrics provide direct feedbacks on the workings of RBPS systems, and leading indicators provide early warning signals of ineffective process safety results. Organizations must use their mistakes and those of others as motivation for action and view as opportunities for improvement. 

Process Safety Technical Areas

Technical excellence must underpin a solid process safety management program. Sound design and analysis and continual advancement in technology are key.

Venting and Emergency Relief

Current industry, government and public emphasis on containment of hazardous materials make it essential for each plant to reduce and control accidental releases to the atmosphere. When primary containment measures occasionally fail, safe emergency relief and vent become essential to limit incidents’ impact. 

Process Safety in Upstream Processes

Safe, optimal production of natural resources, such as oil and gas, from reservoirs and delivering them to downstream entities requires applying chemical engineering fundamentals and principles as well as the 20 elements of Risk Based Process Safety.

Safe Design

Safe design of processes must consider the full spectrum of design and risk management opportunities ranging from reducing potential consequences via Inherently Safer Design (ISD) to reducing risk through process and job design. Since ISD can be robust and reliable, it is a good place to start. 

Safety Instrumentation Systems 

Safety instrumentation systems can help companies achieve risk reduction and incident prevention. A safety instrumented system (SIS) takes automated action to keep a plant in a safe state, or to put it into a safe state, when abnormal conditions are present. The SIS may implement a single function or multiple functions to protect against various process hazards in your plant.

Process Safety R & D

Focuses on the process safety of research and development facilities of companies/plants and as well as the research development to advance the practice of process safety. 

Human Factors and Culture

Human factors and culture plays crucial roles in process safety and creating an organization’s safety culture. Safety culture is defined as how the organization behaves when no one is watching. The responsibility for fostering and sustaining a sound safety culture cascades down through an organization/company.

Dust Explosion Hazards

Most solid materials that can be ignited can form an explosive dust cloud if the particle size of the solid is small enough. Special attention should be pay to identification of accumulation of dust and powders in plants and to specified safe operating procedures for handling powders and dusts.

Consequence Modeling

Consequence modeling is used to predict accident effects. Models are used to predict the distance to specified endpoints for representative high-consequence scenarios. 

Chemical Reactivity Hazards

Chemical reactivity hazards relate to the potential for an uncontrolled chemical reaction that can directly or indirectly causing serious harm to people, property, or the environment. Reactivity hazards include runaway reactions, instable chemicals, and inadvertent reactions such as could occur by accidentally mixing incompatible materials. Chemical reactivity is most commonly accompanied by a temperature increase, pressure increase, gas evolution, or other form of energy release. 

Process Safety for Bioprocesses

Bioprocessing is a business segment that, like any other, has traditional fiscal risks but then adds unique chemical and biological hazard-based risks related to raw materials involved, product made, process used, waste stream involved and unique end user considerations. Effective process safety management in bioprocess manufacturing is essential to the growth of an already booming segment of global manufacturing. 

Chemical Security

Prevention of terrorist attacks on plants, theft of chemicals with potential hazards, contamination of chemicals or products, and degradation of infrastructure. 

Transportation Safety

Considerations for transportation security, including threat and vulnerability assessments and potential countermeasures. Also includes risk assessment programs for land transport by rail, truck, and pipeline for consequences that may affect the public or the environment.